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How to Engineer eLearning: An evidence-based human-centered design process for modern times

By Douglas A. Wilson / September 21, 2023

This review highlights Learning Engineering Toolkit: Evidenced-based Practices from The Learning Sciences, Instructional Design, and Beyond edited by Jim Goodell and Janet Kolodner. Learning Engineering Toolkit serves as a detailed field guide to the collaborative and interdisciplinary aspects of learning engineering. Using an e-Learning and instructional design perspective, this review critically examines the core of the book's message; a foundational definition for learning engineering; and associated themes, strategies, and tools used to illuminate this promising field. » [Full Article]

How to Create a Digital Presence

By Ellen Wagner / May 24, 2023

Josie Ahlquist's book "Digital Leadership in Higher Education" provides stakeholders in higher education with strategies to establish authentic personal connections using social media. » [Full Article]

Finding the Right Tools for Your Classroom's Tech Needs

By Georgia Konstantinou / January 13, 2023

In Educational Duct Tape, Jake Miller compares, contrasts, and selects a plethora of technology tools for educators in a creative and entertaining way. By offering snapshots from his personal and professional life, the author created a pleasant and easy-to-read book. He emphasizes that technology should not be employed as the end objective, but rather as a means to an end. Throughout the book, he argues that educational technology tools should be utilized to solve classroom problems, address learning objectives, and accomplish specific goals exactly as we use duct tape to mend minor problems in our daily lives. » [Full Article]

Design Thinking and Thinking by Design

By Damien Michaud / October 25, 2022

This article provides a summary and review of "Make It Meaningful: Taking Learning Design from Instructional to Transformational" by Dr. Clark Quinn. The book consists of a section on principles and a section on practices for designing learning experiences that engage learners intellectually and emotionally. The book provides a primer and a playbook for educators to reflect upon and improve their personal practice. » [Full Article]

The impact of work and life experience on learning: A conversation with Peter Smith

By Amy J. Hilbelink / May 31, 2022

Oftentimes, when we consider the current, traditional higher education experience, we neglect to give thought to whether our institutions are providing the necessary resources to all learners. Are we truly helping those from under-served populations, or those who want to attend college, but can not find the time or money to attend? Are higher education institutions addressing these concerns, or are the traditional institutions leaving it to those who are outside of academia to figure it out? Who is best suited to helping learners learn? » [Full Article]

Down the rabbit hole: Revisiting etymology, epistemology, history and practice of instructional and learning design

By Begüm Saçak, Aras Bozkurt, Ellen Wagner / March 31, 2022

There is a multitude of terminologies in the field of learning and training to refer to how we design and approach learning experiences: two of them being instructional design and learning design. Online searches and forum discussions among practitioners and researchers reveal the confusion surrounding the use of these terms. Both terms have sometimes been used interchangeably, but the fact that there is more than one term implies that both terms might be used to encompass different aspects of the learning and training discipline. The term instructional design has been a commonly used term until recently, but now learning design made its way to the literature and to our practices. » [Full Article]

How Instructional Designers Work and Think in Online Higher Education

By Les Howles / October 27, 2021

This article summarizes the main themes and chapters for The Learner-Centered Instructional Designer (Stylus Publishing, 2021) and provides a critical evaluation and recommendations for prospective readers. The book consists of 19 short essay-like chapters where 20 experienced instructional designers cover a range of topics related to instructional design consulting in higher education. The various authors share practical strategies and best practices about working with instructors to create online courses. » [Full Article]

Cognition (and Learning) On the Loose

By Clark Quinn / July 29, 2021

Annie Murphy Paul's new book, "The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain," covers emerging research that extends our understanding of thinking beyond the typical view of "mind in the brain." Illustrated with stories, this book unpacks new recognitions, and provides the implications for the design of learning and instruction. » [Full Article]

Designing Successful ePortfolio Practices

By Anita Samuel / July 27, 2020

This article reviews Eynon and Gambino's book High-impact ePortfolio Practice: A catalyst for student, faculty, and institutional learning . » [Full Article]

What about online doctoral students? A review of e-Learning literature

By Kristina McGaha, Diana Hart, Wendy Aoki / April 30, 2020

Recent increases in accessibility, enrollment in e-learning, and diversification of distance learning format delivery (such as MOOCs) have put e-learning in a state of perpetual evolution. The result is a dynamic environment where research as recent as five years ago may no longer be relevant. A review of contemporary e-learning research is needed to understand current trends in the industry of e-learning as well as determine where further research is needed. This article describes six themes identified in the literature by reviewing journal articles centric to e-learning from 2014 to 2019 using qualitative content analysis. The themes represent what is largely covered in the literature (e-learning anxiety, e-learning pedagogy, and student-centered models), and what is underserved in the literature?namely the dissemination and investigation of online doctoral programs. » [Full Article]

Designing an Immersive Environment from the User's Perspective

By Michael A. Dzbenski / November 15, 2019

This review examines Casey Fictum's "VR UX: 100 Pages of VR UX, Design, Sound, Storytelling, Movement & Controls." Fictum creates a fast-paced, concise guide for readers looking to create virtual reality environments centered around the consumers who use the technology. The book interlaces technical information, imaginative storytelling, testing protocols, checklists, and amusing stories. This gives the reader perspective through the lens of a true expert in the fields of virtual reality, experience creation, head-mounted displays, and field-testing the technology. » [Full Article]

Getting Engagement Right

By Clark Quinn / September 12, 2019

Nick Shackleton-Jones' book How People Learn proposes a new model of learning, and implications for design. While the model is questionable--the implications can be derived from more traditional models--the inferred design principles are spot on. This is a good read to think afresh about making learning meaningful. » [Full Article]

Uncovering the Evidence Behind Common Learning Myths and Misconceptions

By Praveen Krishnamurti / September 12, 2018

In his book Millennials, Goldfish & Other Training Misconceptions?, Dr. Clark Quinn systematically analyzes the most common myths, misconceptions, and superstitions currently prevalent in the theories and practice of adult learning. He presents a compelling case for relying on scientific methodologies while examining eLearning theories and concepts, regardless of the source from which they emanate. » [Full Article]

Better Assessment

By Clark Quinn / July 13, 2018

Linda B. Nilson provides the rationale for, and mechanisms to achieve, a better approach to assignments. Utilizing competencies, criteria, and a refocus of ownership, she argues for a systematic change, illustrated with many examples. There has been an ongoing search for criteria to improve assessments, and this is a cogent call about why and how to do it. » [Full Article]

Implementing Blended Learning the Right Way

By Kevin E. Kessler / March 30, 2018

You may have read the quintessential texts on blended learning, the 'why', the need for disruption, the types of models, etc. However, you've never read a workbook like this. The Blended Course Design Workbook is the most important book any school (or teacher) should own in order to implement blended learning the right way. This book provides steps, checks, and explanations on how to build or improve a blended-learning program. This is not a book of theory or persuasive change, this is a how-to book that needs to be on every shelf of every school. » [Full Article]

Online Learning: Bridging the Cultural Gaps

By Alia Arafeh / March 2, 2018

The pervasiveness of online education created opportunities for learners across the world to pursue their higher education at accredited universities of their choice. However, this form of education generated several challenges for both educators and learners due to several cultural differences. As the world is a global village, it has become crucial to satisfy the academic and professional needs of these learners who aspire to get the best scholastic aptitude. Yet, there are many benefits of cultural diversity for both educators and learners. The rich examples of the impact of culture on online learning stated throughout "Culture and Online Learning: Global perspectives and research" help understand the effect of cultural differences on creating a successful and effective learning environment, which embraces online students and provides them with the tools to assist their success. » [Full Article]

Enriching Social Presence through Research and Practice

By Elaine Yontz / February 15, 2018

'Social Presence in Online Learning: Multiple Perspectives on Practice and Research,' examines social presence through three lenses: as technologically facilitated, as learners' perceptions, and as a critical literacy. Whiteside, Dikkers, and Swan have edited an extremely useful volume that combines reviews of research with practical suggestions. The book makes a convincing case for the importance of social presence considerations in online course design. » [Full Article]

Jump, But Don't Run

By B. Jean Mandernach / January 16, 2018

For those new to teaching online, you need "Jump Start Your Online Classroom." True to its name, this practical, hands-on guide provides essential insights to kick off one's initial venture into online teaching. But be sure to jump early, while the guidance and resources provided are invaluable assets to help you begin teaching online, you will want to allow yourself plenty of time to prepare for the experience. » [Full Article]

How Elearning Practitioners can Find Value in Augmented and Virtual Reality Technology

By Jeremy Manjorin / August 29, 2017

This book review of Practical Augmented Reality written by Steve Aukstakalnis explores the practical side of augmented and virtual realities for the professional learner. » [Full Article]

Using Video Games to Crowdsource Scientific and Intellectual Work

By Robert Hein / August 24, 2016

This review examines Karen Schrier's new book, Knowledge Games, which forwards a platform and a rhetoric for thinking about, discussing, and developing a new breed a video games. These emerging "knowledge" games promise to enculturate players into scientific and intellectual communities, using their gameplay to actually help solve real-world problems and to generate knowledge. Schrier's infectious passion and easy-to-read style make her book an excellent point for teachers, students, researchers, and designers to learn about affordances and constraints of these potentially world-changing games. » [Full Article]

The New Organizational Learning: A Review of Teaming

By Clark Quinn / May 13, 2016

Amy Edmondson's new book, Teaming, points the way to the future of organizations. She makes a strong case that learning in organizations, the source of innovation, comes from people in teams. Professor Edmondson lays out the need for new structures, new processes, and new approaches for leadership. This review provides an overview and points out the contributions. » [Full Article]

Debunking The Myth of the Average Learner: A review of The End of Average

By Clark Quinn / April 29, 2016

The concept of average is flawed. We need a fundamental change in how we help learners achieve and contribute their best so they can move beyond average. In "The End of Average" Todd Rose argues the metrics we use to assess success--test scores, performance reviews, and grades--are antiquated and doing more harm than good. » [Full Article]

DIY multimedia: A review of a step-by-step handbook

By Sohag Lahiri / December 8, 2015

In "Develop Your Own Multimedia Application: How to Create Interactive Video Applications in Flash Format" Alexis Aronis demonstrates just how simple it is to create a multimedia application from scratch these days. Readers learn how to create unique video projects using Camtasia Studio and Power Point. » [Full Article]

A Roadmap for Evaluating Online Teaching

By Adam Wayne Jenkins / August 20, 2015

Evaluating Online Teaching is not so much a "how-to" guide as it as a roadmap, guiding the reader through the complexities of creating or overhauling a faculty evaluation process. The book places heavy emphasis on contextual factors and is filled with real-world examples. Evaluating Online Teaching is a must-read for distance learning administrators tasked with faculty evaluations. » [Full Article]

More Than Pretty: A review of Visual Design Solutions

By Ryan Tracey / April 29, 2015

Whether you realize it or not, you are a visual designer. But do not fear, because Connie Malamed's latest book will help you make your pictures more than pretty, by making them effective. » [Full Article]

Learning Technologies Then and Now

By Mark Notess / February 5, 2015

Bill Ferster's latest book, Teaching Machines: Learning from the Intersection of Education and Technology, explores the history of self-directed learning, from correspondence courses to MOOCs. If you're new to the educational technology landscape, this book is a thought-provoking introduction. » [Full Article]

A Wake up Call for Practitioners

By Helen Blunden / January 26, 2015

With organizations facing many challenges today, what role does the learning professional have to play? And how can they help their organization succeed in today's changing business world? » [Full Article]

Revolutionize Learning and Development; An e-Learning Manifesto for All of Us

By Stevie Rocco / September 10, 2014

Clark Quinn's new book, "Revolutionize Learning and Development," offers many insights and suggestions for the changes that are needed for learning and performance in organizations going forward. From the need for data to how we conceive of a "course," the text outlines next steps that organizations can take to optimize performance. » [Full Article]

Online and Distance Education Demands Researchers Pick a Topic and Get to Work

By Nakita Dolet / July 24, 2014

Online and distance educations continues to grow as a field, attracting students and educators from various disciplines and cultural backgrounds. Despite, a growing interest in online education, many argue there is a need for deliberate, well-informed research that helps in the continued development of the field. "Online Distance Education: Towards a Research Agenda," edited by Olaf Zawacki-Richter and Terry Anderson, attempts to bring a renewed energy to online and distance education (ODEL) research by inviting a number of experts to discuss issues impacting this sector of education today. » [Full Article]

Design for Online Learning Using a Learner's Perspective Approach

By Simone C. O. Conceição / July 2, 2014

A variety of instructional design models provide pathways for developing courses using different philosophical approaches. However, many design models tend to focus more on the teaching than on the learning portion of the process. Roderick Sims, in his book "Design Alchemy: Transforming the Way We Think About Learning and Teaching," provides an innovative approach to design online instruction that focuses primarily on the learning rather than the teacher or content. He uses the term "design alchemy" to explain how a designer can think about learning and teaching as a practical and effective means to creative online environments that maximize the educational experience. » [Full Article]

Alarmingly Shallow: The effects of Internet on our culture, community, and social well being

By David Seckman / June 20, 2014

In "The Shallows. What the Internet is doing to our Brains," Nicholas Carr investigates the various ways technology is becoming both enlightening and disturbingly influential in the learning, neurological, and decision-making ethos of the human race. He offers insights into side effects of the Internet on our ability to focus and think critically about the things we read, see, and discuss. This review challenges the notion that historical effects of the book and the Internet are disparate in nature, and argues for a more balanced approach to the way we view technology fitting into society and learning as we continue to change over time. » [Full Article]

Managing in Complexity: A book review of Flat Army

By Clark Quinn / April 22, 2014

Dan Pontefract's "Flat Army" lays out how to manage people in an organization in ways that jointly maximize the employee engagement and the organizational outcomes. If making work more meaningful and empowering employees is the wave of the future, the old ways won't work. This book lays out how to act, lead, and decide in the new organization. » [Full Article]

The Fundamentals for Successful Program Design

By Susan Knight / February 14, 2014

In the second edition of “E-Learning by Design,” William Horton provides a comprehensive, engaging, and practical guide for designing eLearning programs confidently and effectively. Horton explains what to do, the rationale behind it, and the benefit to learners. Readers will find a wealth of information, based on sound instructional design principles, which can be applied to any eLearning project. » [Full Article]

Review of 'Working Smarter: Informal Learning in the Cloud' by Jay Cross

By Peter Shea / July 1, 2010

Jay Cross's latest book, Working Smarter: Informal Learning in the Cloud, is his second title about informal learning. Acquiring knowledge through informal contacts and casual conversation, as Cross indicates, is as old as the campfire. However, the rise of social networking technology and Web 2.0 tools have worked as a force multiplier, greatly enhancing the power of people to acquire knowledge. » [Full Article]